Live from Trumpland: Leigh Ann Caldwell and Benjy Sarlin: What Will Happen to the GOP after Trump:
The GOP for years was a diverse but sturdy three-legged stool of security hawks, tax cutters and religious conservatives....
Live from Trumpland: Leigh Ann Caldwell and Benjy Sarlin: What Will Happen to the GOP after Trump:
The GOP for years was a diverse but sturdy three-legged stool of security hawks, tax cutters and religious conservatives....
Live from Trumpland: Josh Marshall: Turtles and BS All The Way Down:
The Trump camp, trying to right its ship, has now found itself either embracing President Obama's deportation policy or claiming that they're now just starting to deciding what their policy should be...
Live from Trumpland:
I fear for my country when I reflect that Mitt Romney was so much less ridiculous as a candidate for president than is Donald Trump, and yet there polls are in the same range:
Over at Equitable Growth: It was 24 years ago this week that Larry Summers and I warned that if we were to push the target inflation rate much below roughly 5%/year, then, in the immortal words of Dr Suess's the Fish in the Pot:
"Do I like this? Oh, no, I do not. This is not a good game", said our fish as he lit. "No, I do not like it, not one little bit!"
As I see it, if we want good macroeconomic business-cycle stabilization policy over the next generation, we need to do one or more of four things. I think the more of them we do, the better. And I want Summers and Bernanke to chair a commission this fall and winter to establish the order in which we should attempt to do these four things, and to start building the political and technocratic coalition to get them accomplished: Read MOAR Over at at Equitable Growth
Comment of the Day: Maynard Handley: Live from Trumpland: Who is attracted to voting for Trump?:
We enrage them not just because in many cases we are the nerds they bullied in class, who somehow have now ended up "running the world." We enrage them because we lecture them about how they need to be more open to those who compete with them for jobs and housing and wealth--minorities, immigrants, and women--even though in most cases we are ourselves not exposed to said competition...
I think this misses one essential psychological point: it is not being lectured to that people dislike, it is being lectured to by someone who turns out to be RIGHT...
Live from the Wingnutosphere: I do confess that I was surprised when, on Trish Regan's show, Steve Moore abandoned his previous support of the TPP. He claimed that it had "lots of pages" and that "the other parties won't follow its provisions". Well, it had "lots of pages" back when you supported it, Steve--if you are going to cut tariffs on lots of items and draw detailed rules for what people owe foreigners for the intellectual property they use, "lots of pages" comes with the deal. It had "lots of pages" when you were urging Marco Rubio to vote for it, Steve. It has "lots of pages" now. And on enforcement, the entire point of the TPP is that it gives us tools to penalize countries that do not follow its rules, and thus provide them with incentive to obey its provisions. We don't have those too now. TPP gives them to us.
Even as a (mild, nearly on the fence) TPP skeptic, I was gobsmacked both by the rapidity of Moore's rapid reversal of field and by the vacuity of his arguments against it--and by Trish Regan's failure to call him on it.
Why did Moore reverse field? Why were Moore's only arguments so vacuous? Why did Regan not call him on it? Well, because Donald Trump says that he is against the TPP as negotiated by Obama, of course. (Though dollars gets you donuts that should he become president, there will be a few cosmetic changes, it will suddenly become a good, well-negotiated trade agreement, and Trump will be for it, and Moore will revert to his position of three months ago.)
But there's more (or, rather, Moore). Let me outsource the rest of this to PGL:
Pro Growth Liberal (2015): Stephen Moore Declares a North Carolina Miracle:
Stephen Moore has another silly parade of disinformation...
August 21, 2016 at 09:37 AM in Economics: Growth, Moral Responsibility, Obama Administration, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (Monday) Smackdown Watch, Streams: Across the Wide Missouri, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (4)
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Many smart analysts across the political spectrum have rightly situated Donald Trump’s run for president in the international context of the ethno-nationalist parties found throughout Western Europe. In the UK, the Independence Party (UKIP) just led the winning referendum campaign — Brexit — in support of Britain leaving the European Union. In late 2015, the anti-Muslim French National Front (FN), received 27 percent of the vote in local elections around the country. Like Trump, these and other European rightist parties have made the limitation of immigration their most salient issue. They also claim to defend their country from forces like economic and political integration, which might dilute national sovereignty.
This embrace of a comparative perspective is a welcome development...
Must-Read: In my view, this understates it. Not only have Republican voters been primed for a generation to vote for an entertainer candidate, but the governing institution on the Republican side welcomes such a candidate--as long as he can be managed, and does not for an instant imagine that he has anything to do with setting policy or governing the country: Cf.: Dan Quayle and William Kristol...
Jonathan Bernstein: Why Republicans Are Suckers for Trumpism:
Republican voters really are distinct... repeatedly easier marks for people who have no business getting anywhere near the Oval Office....
Live from Trumpland: A good article, but I want to protest the both-sideism.
Since 1980... Carter-Mondale, Mondale-Ferraro, Dukakis-Bentsen, Clinton-Gore, Clinton-Gore, Gore-Lieberman, Kerry-Edwards, Obama-Biden, Obama-Biden, Clinton II-Kaine... I count 18 serious candidates who can do the business of government (even though many think Carter did it badly)... and two, um, call them entertainers--people who look good on TV but who we don't think have the administrative chops to actually run the government: Ferraro and Edwards.
On the Republican side... Reagan-Bush, Reagan-Bush, Bush-Quayle, Bush-Quayle, Dole-Kemp, Bush II-Cheney, Bush II-Cheney, McCain-Palin, Romney-Ryan, Trump-Pence... I count 9 serious candidates who can do the business of government, 9 people who are primarily entertainers (Reagan, Reagan, Quayle, Quayle, Bush II, Bush II, McCain, Palin) and two madmen (Cheney, Cheney). There is a large and pronounced asymmetry here. "I have had similar conversations with herbal teabaggers" doesn't cut it here...
Megan McArdle: Voters Want Change. Candidates Disappoint. Repeat:
If you want to understand American elections, read a comic book....
August 18, 2016 at 01:30 PM in Economics: Finance, Economics: History, Economics: Macro, History, Moral Responsibility, Obama Administration, Philosophy: Moral, Political Economy, Politics, Science: Cognitive, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (4)
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Storify: "But It Wasn't an Election. It Was Hell Among the Yearlings and the Charge of the Light Brigade and when the smoke cleared away not a picture still hung on the walls. And there wasn't any Republican Party... just Donald, with his hair in his eyes, and his shirt sticking to his stomach with sweat. And he had a meat ax in his hand and was screaming for blood”:
Live from Trumpland: And now we have Dr. Frankenstein complaining about those who warned that he was creating a monster...
Brian Buetler: Conservatives’ Laughable Effort to Blame Liberals for Trump:
Conservatives have attempted... [to blame Trump on] liberals, from Barack Obama to liberal PC culture to Al Franken...
LftRSMG: Super-good on how Bret Stephens does not know that he is not only Dr. Frankenstein but the Monster too:
Bret Stephens and his ilk really did help create Trump--and they’re completely blind to the way in which they did it....
Live from Νεφελοκοκκυγία: Scott Lemieux spots herbal teabaggers in the wild:
Scott Lemieux: What's the Matter With Thomas Frank?:
If you see 4 days of Trump’s Republican Party and its cynical, content-free, and oh white supremacist gestures to populism and think “George McGovern”, I really don’t know what to tell you...
Question: If President Obama invited you into the Oval Office, told you that he recognized that the economic policies he has pursued to date haven't had the desired outcome, and gave you five minutes to tell him what in your opinion he should do now (setting aside whether Congress would go along)?
August 15, 2016 at 07:58 AM in Economics: History, Economics: Macro, History, Long Form, Obama Administration, Political Economy, Politics, Streams: (BiWeekly) Honest Broker, Streams: (Tuesday) Hoisted from Archives, Streams: Cycle, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (2)
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Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Wisconsin wingnut Charles Sykes notices that he and his fellows have created a monster:
Olivier Darcy: "Interviewed @SykesCharlie recently for story on conservative media:
We've basically eliminated any of the referees, the gatekeepers. There's nobody...
"Second Amendment Remedies" is a term of art: you don't know what it means only if you try hard not to learn.
Tiptoeing up to and then across the line of explicitly calling for violence against Democrats--and moderate Republicans--has been part of "mainstream" Republican political rhetoric for quite a while now:
Donald Trumo: ‘Second Amendment’ Speech:
Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Scott Lemieux: Ah, yes, the Rich Lowry dictum...:
Ah, yes, the Rich Lowry dictum that the height of media bias is reporting Trump's comments verbatim. https://t.co/P1WFxWK03B— Scott Lemieux (@LemieuxLGM) August 11, 2016
Cf. also "Ted Kennedy accurately describing Robert Bork's public views is the most uncivil thing in known human history."— Scott Lemieux (@LemieuxLGM) August 11, 2016
Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Matthew Yglesias: On Twitter:
One reason I mock "economic anxiety" theories of Trumpism...
Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Republicans still on the Trump Train, this is your last chance to get off. Squishes not all-in with Hillary, this is your wake-up call: endorse her now, or look forward to not being received in polite society for the rest of your natural or unnatural life:
Betty Cracker: “Second Amendment People”:
It was only a matter of time until the Thorazine wore off following Trump’s economic address yesterday. So it’s not too surprising he went there. The question is, has the tsunami of lies and hyperbole that has roared forth from Trump’s cake-hole for the past year swamped the Beltway press so thoroughly that they’ll let a passing reference to political assassination pass? I honestly don’t know.
Must-Read: The extremely sharp Jonathan Chait sends me to one of today's must-reads...
Back when John Roberts as Chief Justice of the Supreme Court did not nullify RomneyCare--excuse me, ObamaCare--from the bench but did lawlessly and without precedent give states the option to nullify the Medicaid expansion part of ObamaCare, I thought that this was a meaningless sop thrown to the right.
My smarter wife Ann Marie Marciarille disagreed. I thought that every governor and state legislator who could add would do the math and note the expanding Medicaid would allow them to do lots of things at the state level--open hospitals and clinics, engage in initiatives, take money that would otherwise have been used to provide uncompensated care and use it for other programs and to fund tax cuts. It was certainly true that I could not find a Republican governor or state legislature who would, in private, say that they welcomed Roberts's nullification-option decision: they all would rather have been forced to expand Medicaid so that they could have spent the money and inveighed against unconstitutional big government tyranny. And so I expected that they would find some way to get it done: find some way to minimize the ideological hit and still get Medicaid expanded so that they could spend the money to expand programs to make their citizens healthier and lower taxes.
I was wrong.
Rather than being a symbolic victory for the right but a substantive nothingburger, John Roberts's lawless creation of the Medicaid expansion-nullification option, when interacted with the poisonous identity politics of Republicans, looks from any kind of technocratic policy perspective that values lower mortality and morbidity like a truly damnable deed--as we see now, as the icejam of cruel policy begins to break:
Patients burst into tears at this city’s glistening new charity hospital when they learned they could get Medicaid health insurance...
Intellectual garbage collection by the highly estimable Yastreblyansky:
Yastreblyansky: Just So You Know:
It's the Universal Mustache, Thomas L. Friedman... asking Clinton to abandon the Democratic platform... in favor of what he calls "pro-growth" policies:
There are a lot of center-right, business Republicans today feeling orphaned by Trump. They can’t vote for him--but a lot of them still claim they can’t bring themselves to vote for Hillary, either. Clinton should be reaching out to them with a real pro-growth, start-up, deregulation, entrepreneurship agenda and give them a positive reason to vote for her...
Live from America's Better Self: Bernie Sanders: I support Hillary Clinton. So should everyone who voted for me:
I understand that many of my supporters are disappointed by the final results of the nominating process, but being despondent and inactive is not going to improve anything. Going forward and continuing the struggle is what matters. And, in that struggle, the most immediate task we face is to defeat Donald Trump.
The Republican Party and the country have paid an enormous price for the entitled arrogance of the Bush clan. Now we have to work very hard to make sure the country does not pay an even higher price than it already has:
McKay Coppins: The Wilderness:
On January 22, 2015... Jeb flew to Utah for a one-on-one meeting at Romney’s home in Park City. The appointment had been on the books for months, but recent developments had turned the powwow into a major news event, with reporters and cameramen ambushing Jeb at the Salt Lake City airport and camping out at the perimeter of Romney’s property.
Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: In which we welcome Lost Sheep Maria Comella home! Slaughter the Fatted Calf!:
Claude Brodesser-Akner: Former Top Christie Aide: I'm Voting for Clinton over Trump:
TRENTON — One of Gov. Chris Christie's most trusted and closest former aides has publicly broken with the governor...
Brad DeLong and David Beckworth: Macro Musings Podcast:
And the transcript, very kindly paid for by David, which I have not checked for correctness, consistency, or non-stupidity:
And GOD! DO I NEED A SHOWER!!
Trish Regan playing hide-the-ball and gulling her viewers: The Intelligence Report
August 02, 2016 at 01:11 PM in Economics: Growth, Economics: Inequality, Information: Better Press Corps/Journamalism, Moral Responsibility, Obama Administration, Political Economy, Politics, Strategy, Streams: Economics, Streams: Equitable Growth, Streams: Highlighted | Permalink | Comments (7)
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Live from the American Press Corps' Self-Made Gehenna: Steve M.: We've Entered the Professional-Centrist Handwringing Phase:
NPR's Steve Inskeep... is praising an op-ed by Errol Louis... who didn't like the Khizr Khan speech...
Over at Equitable Growth: James Kwak has, I think, an attack of pessimism of the will--declares that our current dysfunctional economic institutions and policies benefit the "financial institutions, financial professionals, corporate executives, and rich people" who "basically control the American political system", and so "things are unlikely to change anytime soon".
And the uninsured rate is likely to dip below 8% when the remaining nullification states finally expand their Medicaid programs.
Read MOAR Over at Equitable Growth
Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Trump's Republican Party as an anti-American nationalist party:
Storify: Origins of Trumpism: James Surowiecki and Friends...
Live from America's Better Self: Harold Pollack: Khizr Khan: “You Have Sacrificed Nothing”:
Khan’s genuine anger.... In every way, the Khan family is the antithesis of Trump’s snarling rhetoric....
Barack Obama: Dem Convention Speech:
Hello, America. Twelve years ago tonight, I addressed this convention for the very first time.
Live from the Republicans' Self-Made Gehenna: Josh Barro: Khizr Khan's Speech Was Telling about the US:
I am angry at Donald Trump, and I am angry at the people who voted for him. But most of all...
Can This Capitalism Be Saved?
Here is piece of mine left on the cutting room floor elsewhere. So I might as well throw it up here.
Reviewing: Robert Reich: Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few http://amzn.to/29Viz6w
Robert Reich’s Saving Capitalism: For the Many, Not the Few http://amzn.to/29Viz6w is an excellent book. It powerfully argues that America needs once again—as it truthfully reminds us that we did four times in the past—restructure its institutions to build both private and public countervailing power against the monopolists and their political servants in order to right the distribution of income and boost the pace of economic growth.
Hoisted from Four Years Ago: What passes for Republican think-tannery these days. Judge Paul Friedman's smackdown should have ended this then--rather than later, at the Supreme Court, 6-3, with John Roberts writing:
Congress passed the Affordable Care Act to improve health insurance markets, not to destroy them. If at all possible we must interpret the Act in a way that is consistent with the former, and avoids the latter...
The idiocy, from Michael Cannon and Jonathan Adler:
What I, at least, thought was the highest of the high points at the 2016 DNC:
Michelle Obama: "Barack and I... try to guide and protect our girls through the challenges of this unusual life in the spotlight, how we urge them to ignore those who question their father’s citizenship or faith.
How we insist that the hateful language they hear from public figures on TV does not represent the true spirit of this country.
How we explain that when someone is cruel or acts like a bully, you don’t stoop to their level.
No, our motto is: when they go low, we go high!...
Live from the Republican Party's Self-Made Gehenna: Adam Gopnik: Being Honest About Trump:
Trump's language remains not merely sloppy or incendiary but openly hostile to the simplest standards of truth and decency that have governed American politics.
David Kurtz: Whence The Anger?:
If there's one thing Tierney Sneed and Lauren Fox found while reporting for us in Cleveland that I probably don't factor in enough in assessing the Trump phenomenon it's the deep resentment and bitterness Republican Party rank-and-file feel toward their own leaders for not fulfilling the extravagant promises made to them since the 2010 Tea Party revolt. I tend to focus more on the white resentment, race-baiting, and xenophobia that arise from the tectonic social shifts way below the surface. They're not decoupled from each other, but the promise that Obama would be put in his place (with all the accompanying racial overtones to that notion) and his political and policy agenda expunged from the public record were powerful GOP draws for three election cycles, as detached from political reality as those promises may have been.
Live from Gehenna, with the Republicans in Bed with the Short-Fingered Vulgarian: Needless to say: There is no picture of Ted Cruz's father and Lee Harvey Oswald having breakfast. There is no picture of Ted Cruz's father and Lee Harvey Oswald not having breakfast. There is no picture of Ted Cruz's father and Lee Harvey Oswald.
I looked for signs, but at no point in the video does Pence blink twice or otherwise signal that he was being held against his will, but his presence is by far the most bizarre part of the video. Mike Pence endorsed Ted Cruz for president. He clearly thinks he’s a respectable politician.
Donald Trump: Bananas Attack on Ted Cruz:
If you turn on the television, if you turn on some of the dishonest media, you’ll see, "Oh well, this happened and this happened." What happened? Somebody [Cruz] got booed the hell out a place by thousands and thousands of people. There wasn’t one person in the room. Not one. And then they said: "There may not be unity!" Unity? There wasn’t one person in the room who wasn’t--including the Texas delegation, right?
IMHO, Ezra Klein should be scared of Trump. But he should be more scared of America's press corps, that reports politics not as a horse race--horse-race reporters know about the fundamentals that are tracks and jockeys and bloodlines and so forth--but as a WWE match. And he should be most scared of the Republican Party--80% of its core members and 90% of its activists will vote and work for Trump.
Ezra Klein: Donald Trump Is the first time American Politics Has Left Me Truly Afraid: "Tonight, Donald J. Trump will accept the Republican Party’s nomination for president of the United States...
Live from the Cleveland Dumpster Fire: Matthew Yglesias: While We Wait: Here’s Donald Trump on Barack Obama: "In November of 2008, I was interviewed... about the election and I was honest about it...
Live from the Cleveland Dumpster Fire: Matthew Yglesias says "ECONOMIC ANXIETY!!" and sends us to Julia Ioffe: Melania’s Fan Club: "She just needed to get up there and speak to them...
Live from the Cleveland Dumpster Fire: Robert Draper: How Donald Trump Picked His Running Mate: "One day this past May... Donald Trump Jr., reached out to a senior adviser to Gov. John Kasich of Ohio...
Live from the Cleveland Dumpster Fire: No. No Trump knows how to play this game:
Donald Trump, Jr. (July 19, 2016): "Our schools used to be an elevator to the middle class. Now they are stalled on the ground floor. They are like Soviet-era department stores, run for the benefit of the clerks and not the customers..."
F.H. Buckley (May 2, 2016): "What should be an elevator to the upper class is stalled on the ground floor. Part of the fault for this may be laid at the system's entrenched interests: the teachers' unions and the higher-education professoriate. Our schools and universities are like the old Soviet department stores whose mission was to serve the interests of the sales clerks and not the customers..."
Merdedith McCaw (July 19, 2016): "I just got off the phone with Buckley: 'I was one of the principal speechwriters. It's not a problem..."
So F.H. Buckley is the grifter here, and Donald Trump, Jr., is the mark. F.H. Buckley couldn't be bothered to ghostwrite an original speech. Trump, Jr., was too naive to check.hire a speechwriter willing to do bespoke work rather than recycle, and was too naive to check.
Live from the Cleveland Dumpster Fire:
Melania Trump: "We want our children in this nation to know that the only limit to your achievements is the strength of your dreams and your willingness to work for them…"
Live from the Cleveland Dumpster Fire: Josh Marshall: Violence, Blood and Betrayal inside the Trump Potemkin Village: "On MSNBC last night a bunch of really smart guys were saying how Trump would and must be outraged at how a staffer/speech writer...
The purpose of this weblog is to be the best possible portal into what I am thinking, what I am reading, what I think about what I am reading, and what other smart people think about what I am reading...
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Looking Forward to Four Years During Which Most if Not All of America's Potential for Human Progress Is Likely to Be Wasted
With each passing day Donald Trump looks more and more like Silvio Berlusconi: bunga-bunga governance, with a number of unlikely and unforeseen disasters and a major drag on the country--except in states where his policies are neutralized.
Nevertheless, remember: WE ARE WITH HER!
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